Johnny Grant knew everyone in Hollywood and he told me a lot of stories over the years. Some I promised never to tell and some he told me I could write about immediately. This one he wanted to wait until all the participants were dead, but since there is kind of an Old Hollywood theme today, I thought I might as well share it. It is not technically Old Hollywood since some of the participants are still alive but it shows you that debauchery and rude behavior were as common four decades ago as they are today.
Before she was famous, this future A++ list actress and Oscar winner/nominee was hoofing it up on Broadway in the chorus line of a second rate revue. She was also making ends meet by prostituting herself to shady men who lived near the apartment she was renting out. Her pimp was psychically and mentally abusive towards her and one night she had enough.
Back in her pre-fame days, this A++ list actress who was a modestly successful a movie star (but conquered another medium instead) did anything she could to earn a quick buck between the chorus girl and modeling gigs. Yes, for a brief period she was an es.cort. She aimed high, hoping to snag a Broadway producer or a millionaire, but she usually landed mobsters.
While working on a movie considered to be the greatest western of all time, this racist, closeted permanent A list mostly movie actor who is an Academy Award winner had an interesting encounter. His encounter was with his co-star who had almost a handful of Academy Award wins/nominations and was the bff of a permanent A+ lister.
This star has faded somewhat. His career spanned decades — TV, films, nightclubs mostly. He has sung in the past but is not really remembered as a serious recording artist. Along with his famous A+ friends, he used to take to the stage and entertain people. He was an internationally famous star. So a charitable organization in Toronto decided it would ask this comedian to perform on stage to raise money for a charity. The multi-talented star demanded $50,000 for one night, and the charity agreed. A date was set. Tickets sold out in no time.
Finally all of the blooper reels end with that blonde se.x symbol in one of her most famous roles. Fully nude, she gets out of a barrel she's taking a bath in and yells "This ones for the boys in the editing room!"
There have never been any pedophile or metoo type accusations against this closeted actor either during his life or in the years since he passed away. However, among his belongings after his death was found a large collection of child p*rnography featuring little boys - both photos and reel to reel film.
Whenever you asked this now deceased A/B-list actress and entertainer who her least favorite costar was, she would say it was this A/B-list actor who was married to one of the original scream queens. On the first of the two films they made together, he confronted her about rumors that she was a lesbian and was having sex with this renowned character actress famous for playing a mother in law on a classic TV show.
This foreign born A list writer probably didn’t deserve the A list tag. There were lots of other people who hated her. Our writer was a registered communist but was allowed to keep working as long as she named names of Hollywood writers who were communists. She named names just to name names whether it was true or not. Every name she named was blackballed.
This murder victim of one of Hollywood’s most notorious unsolved murders was no innocent starlet. She was a high priced call girl with her madam being the ex girlfriend of an infamous mobster. She also had several famous men as her clientele. In the weeks leading up to her death she slept with two Oscar winning/nominated triple threats (actor-director-writer), two B-list actors turned criminals, a newspaper editor turned nightclub owner, studio heads and the aforementioned mobster.
She was only A-list for a short period of time, but as soon as this actress and sex symbol’s popularity waned she fled from the spotlight and was seemingly missing in action for several decades. That is until a reporter in NYC was tipped off that she was working as a bartender in a gay club in Greenwich Village for minimum wage.
What A/B-list theater actress who dabbled in film but is best known for her raunchy personal life and her campy witticisms once used a drag queen to fill in for her during a later-career stage play when she was too sick to go on? Her explanation?: "Nobody can tell the difference anyway"